tv Representative Gary Palmer Town Hall Meeting CSPAN April 24, 2017 12:04pm-1:14pm EDT
he originally opposed the revised tax reform plan. [applause] >> thank you. before we start with the questions, i want to thank the city and the mayor and the police and detectives that are here tonight. we have taken him away from their families. i don't take that for granted. i would like for us all to think
the city for putting on this event and doing such a good job and for the sacrifices they are making. [applause] what i typically do, if you raise your hand you will get a microphone and take your question. we will start over here with the lady in the gold sweater. i will work side to side, back, back and back down. >> i told the gentleman next to me, he recognized my gold sweater. >> that's how you get picked out in the picture too. >> i want to thank you for being
here. i want to talk about the affordable care act. i heard you were in favor of high-risk pools and i wanted to tell you about my personal situation. i have been an independent contractor for my most of my adult life and had health insurance i've paid for my entire adult life. when i was 42 years old i developed a rare but relatively minor disease which mimics the symptoms of diabetes. i take one pill. day. it's an inexpensive fix. since i have that, i am considered a pre-existing condition. i lived in louisiana before we move back to our home state of alabama and i was in the high-risk health insurance because this was before the affordable care act for when i
was in that high-risk pool i had caps on my medicine in a lifetime cap of $25000 for medicine. i paid much higher premiums and deductibles and paying now. i get no subsidies. my sister who recently passed away had breast cancer. her medication cost $20000. month and that doesn't include mri, pet scan or doctor visits while she was trying to fight the battle of her life. my question is this will you stabilize what we have now, the exchanges, and increased
subsidies for those who need it? will you promise to preserve medicaid as an entitlement that goes with need and bring medicaid expansion to more states? [applause] >> first of all, let me explain what we are putting into the american healthcare act. it's a risk sharing arrangement modeled after the state of maine. it will bring premiums down. if you were to apply for insurance under this, you would be treated like any other person. they don't distinguish whether you have pre-existing condition or not. if you do have a pre-existing condition, you by your insurance and the price will be pretty much what everybody else pays in the market but the insurance company will put that policy and a risk sharing arrangement with the federal government.
90% of premiums will go into fontenot. the insurance has some skin in the game. in exchange, let me finish, the insurance companies exposure is limited to $10000. if you have catastrophic illness or injury and you're not risk pool, your bills will be paid. it will bring premiums down for everybody else. in maine, it brought down premiums -- can you all here? can you hear me? i'll tell you what, you might want to check the microphones off on trying to talk. does that help. we are getting a little feedback. it brought down premiums for
people in their 20s by almost $5000 and older people by $7000. a number of people with insurance one up in the average age came down. what we're trying to do is set a risk sharing arrangements where the whole community is interpreting to this backed up by the government. the bill had $100 billion in stabilization and we've added 15 billion to that so can be fully funded and allows insurance companies to work within the same parameters in the state will take it over after the third year. you won't have issues of denial of coverage. you will be treated like everybody else and it will bring premiums down so people can buy insurance and afford to use it.
on the medicaid side, i am not for expanding medicaid, i'm forgiving the state's ability to manage medicaid to get more money to the people need a. last year we sent out $46.3 billion in improper payments of medicaid. two or three days ago for the it's not working. can you hear me in the back? we may want to turn this off. anyway, it was reported two or three years ago that a lady was sent to federal prison for medicaid fraud. we cannot afford to waste
$36 billion. year in mismanagement and fraud to medicaid when there are people who need it. yes, ma'am, in blue, the lady behind her. yes. >> thank you so much for being ten days ago my beautiful page the candidate daughter had a go to the emergency room because she cut herself so badly she needed stitches. >> is she okay. >> she is, thank you. from that she is okay. five years ago after repeated hospitalizations including two for attempted suicides she was
diagnosed with bipolar disorder. in two months she turns 26 and comes off of my employees insurance and will join the ranks of one and half million alabama with pre-existing conditions. some of those are mental illnesses, summer cancer, asthma, diabetes, et cetera. i know you just address this but i'm concerned that these one half people in alabama could lose their affordable comprehensive coverage. i heard what you are saying and i've read about the main program, but i'm wondering if that's what you say it is, if you could commit, if you could write and distribute a letter to
congress that says you commit to opposing any legislation that disseminates in any way against people with pre-existing conditions. [applause] >> let me find we are working on one final addition to the american healthcare act in addition to the risk sharing program, which again write it down, try to understand it, people with pre-existing conditions will not be treated any differently than anybody else. i can't emphasize that enough. i know a lot of you want a single-payer system but that's not happening. you need to understand what we will do. when you fully understand it you will be good with it.
there is one last tweet we are trying to make that makes it clear there will be a prohibition of discrimination based on pre-existing condition and gender. guaranteed renewability of coverage and community rating rules except where there are limited waivers. i can't make it any clearer. you can keep asking the questions i'm in a keep giving you the same answer. i grew up dirt poor. my brothers and i shared a bedroom and had cardboard between the two by fours. the first house we lived in didn't have indoor plumbing.
it had an outhouse we baked in the creek. i understand. my appendix burst when i was 12 years old. on a handshake, the doctor save my life and my dad paid the bi bill. that was in 1966. in october 66, my mom gave birth to my youngest brother and immediately developed adult diabetes. again, a handshake with my dad and the doctor and he paid the bill. we are way past those days. i get it, but i understand where people are, believe me. in the back, the lady in the pink. >> thank you for coming tonight. thank you for the opportunity to come and ask you questions. my question is in reference to the united workers retirees insurance. it is up for a vote now. i know i've talked with you and you said you supported, but you would talk to your constituents and you would talk to your other people there that would be
voting and i would like to know where you stand and who is standing with you. >> i retired. >> i retired from the government and i was told i would have insurance for life. we know that's not going to be, but i would like to know where i stand on the insurance. >> the letter from my workers that said they would have health insurance for life or you would? what did the letter say to you? i didn't understand who has. >> when i retired i had the option to keep insurance when i was working for the government. [inaudible] something happened, they wrote me a letter and i have a copy at home. [inaudible]
we still do not have insurance. >> i think the health benefits are going to be taken care of and what we are calling the funding of the government to the end of the year. that will be in there. the other issues relating to the minors is being worked on and the guy that i've worked with on this and i touch base with on a regular basis is congressman david from west virginia. as you know, they really have a vested interest in this. i am staying in touch with congressman mckinley and he is taking the lead on it. over here, i see the bear arms in the rolled up sleeves. it's a lady. sorry. i'm sorry, i couldn't see you. >> mr. palmer, thank you for being here. i am one of the organizers of him alabama research for
science. we sent you an open letter for invitation over a month ago we've had no response. we would really like to see you there to support science in our city. one tenth of the job in birmingham come from uab. would like to see you there, bring your kids, do some experiments, and come appreciate the organizers working for your. >> when is your vent. >> saturday ten to four. >> you can't make it there saturday but i am having lunch with a group of scientists on monday. >> i will be about lunch. we would love to see you. if you can make it for five minutes in the morning or afternoon, we would like to have your support. >> if i can get there i will try but i'm going to be out of town. i will be out of town saturday but i will see you at lunch on monday.
>> thank you for coming. i am a huge supporter of you. i'm probably like the rarest black republican in this community so i support you wholeheartedly. i remember you uber and there a lot of people out there that were fans. i stood up for you and i went around and got a couple supporters out there, supported them and we just love you. we want you to know that. i know you initially supported another candidate and i know we are approaching our first 100 days, and i was wondering what is your opinion on president trump right now i had not met president trump until he spoke to the joint session of congress. some of you may have seen me as
he was leaving the chamber, i had an exchange with him and introduced myself and told him i was from alabama, he asked me if i knew jeff sessions, i told him i knew him for 25 years and he made it clear he loves alabama. that was my first meeting with him and i appreciated the fact that in that environment he took the time to talk to me for just a minute. everyone was trying to hustle him out of the room. the first time i had a chance to engage with him on an issue was on the healthcare bill after i voted no on the budget committee. i got a call saying what you want. i talked about the things i felt like needed to be changed in the bill. i went to the white house along with a dozen members and sat down with them and explain this whole idea of how it would benefit the states to get medicaid funding as a. capita cap or a block grant,
about the waste and fraud and abuse that takes place, the $36 billion that went down a rat hole last year. i talked about the work requirement and the risk sharing plan and the thing i found is the guy is extremely intelligent, i wasn't surprised by that, but he has an incredible ability to take a complex issue and simplify it and communicate it, and i think that's one of the reason why his message has resonated with so many people. he has the ability to communicate. there are some people that you can't communicate with. anyway, i'm answering her question. show some class. this is alabama, we don't act like other people in other parts of the country. anyway, he understands "the art
of the deal". he wrote the book on it. i went in and laid out a position, made the deal. thank you for the question. the gentleman in that shirt, camo thank you. take you for being here. it's very generous of your time. yesterday on one of the new shows, i heard the representative talking about mrd indicating he favors the release of tax returns from all of our presidents and is supporting form may be denying legislation to do this so he's indicating that the legislation is in process and he's working on it. i was wondering, will you support him in this effort and
require that all of our presidents release their ta tax returns so we can know about the potential conflicts of interest? not only the american people, but certainly also congress. thank you. >> i don't take position on any legislation until i see it and i don't care what it is. i will read the bill and take a position. gentleman in the mine worker shirt in the back. >> i don't have a question, i have a comment. i want to thank you for myself and 23000 retirees. we are grateful for your help on the retiree minor act and we really appreciate everything you have done for us and your continued support. thank you.
>> we did a video out of our district office where we went around and interviewed some of the minor families that have lost their jobs. you want to talk about health insurance, one of them was a minor whose wife, within a few months of losing his job was diagnosed with cancer. you could see the terror in her eyes. another was a couple that had two daughters in college and they told their daughters they were going to have to drop out of school to come home and make ends meet. here is a dad in his 50s, tears streaming down his cheek in the entire interview thinking that he's got no future. he is in his 50s. we turn that into a three minute video and a hearing with the administrator of the epa, gave her a chance to hear from peop people, to hear the voices and see the faces of people who were impacted in an agency that was clearly overreaching, and the
devastation that it brings, not only to families but whole communities. as long as i am in congress, i will represent people like that. [applause] this lady here in the front. >> ladies first. i will get you next time. >> thank you for coming tonight. i've been getting a letter from you and a couple others about a call for increase in our social security. how long will it take y'all to get that done? i've been getting those letters for at least six months. >> and the answer is i don't know. we are working on the budget for
2018 as you know our focus has been on the healthcare bill. i honestly don't know but i will check into it. my chief of staff, we hold up your hand is down here from washington and he will follow up on that. back over here. this lady. >> i wanna thank you for your leadership in your concern for families. i know families are very important to you. we are seeing pushback on parental rights and family rights and constitutional rights all over the country. what can we expect from your office and your leadership and from congress to help ensure that parental rights and constitutional rights are protected. >> i've already engaged on the
issue once and i'm not going to call any names because if i did everyone would recognize this individual. his daughter is an accomplished attorney, son-in-law is an attorney and they had a child taken from them, even though she was still nursing that child because of an injury that appears to have been inflicted at the daycare. they never investigated the daycare. they had a hearing and the judge determined there was no cause to take the child yet one person in their department of human resources decided that there was a problem and took the child in the individuals parents what alternate week by week driving, they live out of town so about it two and a half or three hour drive to take care of that child in its home and the parents had to move out. they finally determined there
was zero cause for that. in my opinion, that is a denial of their rights under article four of the constitution. we've got to do a better job. we want to protect children. we've got to do a better job. we have to protect the rights of parents and we can't make some assumptions that take kids out of their home or drive parents out of the kids home. this is something that i think we've got to take very seriously and this was something, this individual called me and asked for my help. i had to call a couple other members of congress to get help, but we finally got that family reunited. although in the back, the lady in the back. >> thank you so much for being here. my name is megan from alabama in your district. i just want to say something
about my daughter olivia who at 20 weeks in utero was diagnosed with the congenital defects. we pressed on and she spent two and half months in the nicu, over nine surgeries, countless therapies, more doctor visits than we care to admit. she is a thriving, happy joyful 8-year-old girl and for that we are thankful. clear. she clearly has a pre-existing condition. i've heard what you been saying i just read today that the current plan prevents insurers from denying coverage based on a person's medical history, but allow states to opt out of the plans from raising premiums and could opt out of requiring plans to cover certain benefits which sounds like away from my own libya, and the many many other alabamians with pre-existing conditions to be left behind. i'm hoping you can make a promise to me and olivia and
those with pre-existing conditions that you will not find anything that attaches this caveat to the pre-existing condition clause. [applause] >> i think i've already answered this by quoting the prohibition on denying coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions, that is what, this is a federal program. the states don't have an option. they do not. this is a three year federal program. it is a three-year, i wrote the amendment. it's a three-year federal program. there is no opt out under this
bill or this amendment, she will be able to have insurance. it will be in the risk sharing program and it's a three-year program. they cannot opt out. are you asking me to vote against the bill? what are you asking me to vote against? >> it says that nobody can vote against pre-existing conditions but the new part of the bill allows the states the opportunity. >> i'm reading it to you from right here. this is what is going to be in the bill. >> will you guarantee my olivia
health insurance. >> i cannot personally guarantee anything other than what i believe you will have under this bill that will be better than what you have now. it's over here. the gentleman in the very back, the blue shirt. >> thank you for being here. with a deadline of april 28, will we see congress pushback on the deadline for the budget or will we see the government shutdown again like in 2013? >> i don't believe there will be a government shutdown. i believe we will pass the funding bill out of the house that will fund the government through the fiscal year and unless the democrats decide to filibuster, it should pass. if that were to occur, if there's not much deadlock, we can extended the funding on a seven-day or ten-day continued resolutions but i'll see any reason to shut down the government, particularly with
what's going on around the world. i'm confident we will get the job done. this lady in the blue vest. >> thank you. during his campaign, donald trump stated women are central to making america great again. he stated in his inaugural speech that the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. on march 27, trump signed an executive order revoking the 2014 fair pay and safe workplace order. the fair pay order was a result of the 2010 investigation of the government accountability office which showed companies with rapid violations were being awarded millions of dollars in federal contracts, in other words, women, your state dollars are going to fund companies that discriminate against you and don't pay women fairly. there has been a bill introduced
on april 14. it's also known as the fair pay act of 2017. it cites statistics from 2015 that women in the country, white women compared to white men make 80 cents to the white man's dollar. the wage gap is even worse for women of color. african-american women, 63 cents. native hawaiian and other pacific islander women, 60 cents. native american and native alaskan women 58 cents. hispanic or latino women 54 cents. a conservative estimate is that women employed in the united states lose a combined total of $500 billion every year due to wage gap. we tell the world how to treat people yet we have a president that says it's okay not to pay
women fairly. where do you stand on this issue and how will you vote for hr 2095? >> as i said, i don't take a position on the bill until i read it and i haven't seen the bill. >> i haven't seen the bill so i don't take a position on any legislation i haven't seen. this german appear. >> i did hear that. >> what is your position on the issue? >> i believe in letting the market set wage rates and i've think that's the best way to go. i don't like government mandates. >> so it's okay not to pay women fairly. >> no, i have two daughters and i want them to get every dime they deserve, believe me. >> so what is the republican
congress going to do about it? >> what are we going to do about it? i will read the bill and we will see. you know, it's interesting you bring this up and you try to cast six versions on us as republican. >> bipartisan. >> just came out a few weeks ago that she pays even below what you just mentioned. >> i disagree. >> will you can disagree all you want. look it up. you can have facts but they need to be facts. renée, if you'll come up to the front, this gentleman. thank you for the support you have given pa. i'm on the advisory board and your name comes up constantly as a representative who has helped us out.
i did meet you when we had the opening of the annex. i don't know if you remember our conversation. my question is, are you familiar with the bluewater situation? this is the navy men that are on the aircraft carriers that were dealing with the agent orange and they're not getting benefits. yes, i have got my staff looking into that. we are still looking into it, but i am aware of it. >> i would like to also invite you, director smith is going to be a speaker on june 29 here at the civic center. the farmers market, we are having a recognition of veterans and we are doing a fundraiser for the rehab and i would like to invite you if you are available to come and i know you know director smith quite well. if you can do that i would really appreciate it. >> i would love to do it if i am
here. i would love to do that. i will say this about the birmingham va. contrary to what you hear around the country about how the va treats our veterans, i think the birmingham va does a good job. we have a new annex that is a fabulous facility for women and mail soldiers. they've accommodated everyone well. the interesting thing that they were most happy about was the parking deck because it gives them great access to the facility. denise weaver handles our veterans issues. she is the lady in the black dress. she does a fabulous job. if any of you have issues with the va, call denise. she loves you guys and gals that have served our country so faithfully.
this gentleman, i can't read the hat. vietnam vet. thank you for your service. >> i appreciate you coming. [applause] thank you so much. i appreciate you coming. i have one question, in particular dealing with education. i have a grandson who is 22 years of age in college. he cannot qualify himself for fast file. he is not 25 years old. his father is deceased and his mother is disabled. you met his mother today, but anyway, he can't get faster because of that, without her having to sign for him.
>> on those issues, call denise and explain the situation. get in touch, we have a fabulous staff. they really take this seriously and i think in terms of turnaround on issues like that, we have one of the best records of anybody. we take the stuff very seriously. we are determined to take care of our veterans and their widows and their children and their dependent children. this gentleman has been very persistent thank you for having a town hall and taking my question. for many years i worked for an eight organization, taking care of people with hiv. we have medicine now, as you know in people with hiv are
living normal lifespans, taking care of families and paying taxes and being productive. i still remember the dark days before we had medicine but then we did have medicine but a lot of us in the south, people still didn't have care or insurance coverage. it's interesting to see what will come of the pre-existing conditions that you're talking about because hiv was still a death sentence when we had life-saving medication. right now we are at the verge of defeating the biggest disease threat in history but it was the backbone of how we were able to come along way and the states that didn't are falling behind in people are sick or and not getting healthy. also, medicaid block grants
don't grow if there's an economic downturn if there's a hurricane or an orioles bill or healthy market collapse, block grants, they're not the same of what we've been enjoying for decades. i just hope we are able to really keep an eye on medicaid expansion making sure that even the states who didn't expand. here's my next question. >> i appreciate you the way you approach this. >> i also appreciated an earlier question, speaker ryan has said he wants to give quality healthcare to every american. >> may i correct that statement. >> there is something that says you would oppose a bill for things that have higher out-of-pocket expenses for the same benefits we have right now
regardless of age or income or pre-existing condition. >> let me address the aids issue. i have served for 20 years with united way on their community initiative committee. it was community planning. i was on the original eight subcommittee. i don't know if you are around than a remember that, but we had the birmingham aids -- it was done through united way. it was the age outreach program. some of you know patricia tied who is a member of that subcommittee. i'm one of the guys that helped put together the grant that got birmingham $75000 to really launch that effort to provide medicine and groceries and care for people who were dying of aids. i understand that issue and i'm thankful that the research has
gotten us to a point where that will be, people dying from aids will be a thing of the past. in regard to the healthcare bi bill, i do not support medicaid expansion, but in the event of a hurricane or any other disaster, congress will take action just as we've done in other cases to meet the needs of the community. as far as providing insurance for people, i believe what we've done with this bill puts us on a path where insurance will be assessable to everybody, premiums will come down, and there is more work that we will do to bring down premiums so we can get back to a healthier system where people can have the insurance they want and afford and they can afford to use it. right now, you have millions of people who chose not to get insurance, almost 20 million people, 12 million chose to apply for hardship waivers
through the irs so they didn't have to pay the fine and another 7 million just simply paid the fine but you have millions more who have insurance and can't afford to use it. the premiums are driving people out of the market. >> i don't know, the individual mandate wasn't ill in elegant attempt but nobody likes it. >> that's not true. i think you will see a lot of people like the new bill. could you publish a letter saying you would only support a bill that ensures. >> it would ensure more people rather than fewer. >> for the record, so i don't have to answer it again, i support the current bill with the amendment that we added on the risk sharing program and that's what i intend to vote for. over here. the lady in the black.
>> thank you for taking my question and comments. thank you so much for having this open forum which is indicative of democracy in action. [applause] however, i do wish, and i feel the need to remind you and the others in this room that the popular vote was 2.9 million in favor of hillary clinton. our electoral college system is antiquated, but in the same constitution, it contains the elements of the electoral college are also amendments nine and ten which state, amendment nine, the enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. amendment ten, the pair powers not delegated to the united
states by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the state are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. these two amendments have indicated two generations of constitutional scholars and to me in my humble opinion as well that revolution always remains an option when the government fails to deliver as the people require. [applause] >> i read the same constitution that you do, and i read those two amendments are saying the power is not expressly delegated by the constitutions of the federal government or prohibitive thereof are served to the people of the state. that is one of the reasons why state constitutions are so much longer than federal constitution, but it says nothing about revolution. however if you want to read the
declaration of independence and the reasons for revolution then, then you might make that case from that but certainly not from the constitution. i appreciate your views on federalism. i think it was eloquently read and accurately read, but that really applies to federalism. >> congressman, thank you and welcome for and thank you for being here. i am the president of the birmingham association of realtors and an obvious champion of home ownership. back in november, we attended the national convention in orlando and we learned of three different tax proposals that were being considered by congress. they were the days camp, tax reform act, the ron white him tax reform plan and the house republican tax reform blueprint. for many years, we have gone to
the hill and begged to protect mortgage interest deduction that is one of the incentives that many homeowners have because they obviously, most of them have mortgages. we are learning that in each of these plans, the bill drafters were able to protect mortgage interest deduction, however when you do the math of each of the plans, all three of them this incentivize homeownership through the itemized deduction. so, it is this incentivize in homeownership. my question to you is, do you have any updates on any of these plans and, can we count on you to protect not only mortgage interest deduction, but also homeownership for the american family? [applause] >> as a homeowner with a mortgage, i think yes, the wyden plan is not under consideration.
the camp plan is not under consideration. i was very involved in the working group on tax reform and it is still a work in progress. we held i don't know how many meetings with members of congress getting input on it, but one of the things that is consistently in their is the protection of the deduction for mortgage interest. i feel confident that that will remain in there. the thing that we are trying to do with the tax reform is simplify the tax code, get it down to three brackets, lower the rates, promote economic growth, lower the corporate income tax so that we are compared competitive with the rest of the world, allow companies to expense their capital investment in the year they make them, and create jobs. i think we can do that. i'm on the budget committee, and i'm also on the government and oversight committee and we had
the comptroller general who heads up the general account ability office come in and testify before our committee. i was chairing that committee and general wanted out with the irs periodically report on the tax gap. by periodically, apparently it's every three or four years because it had been 2012 or somewhere in that range come the last time they did and he reported that the tax gap is the amount of taxes the federal government is supposed to collect versus the amount they actually collected. the tax gap is $406 billion. now, i asked why we are leaving $406 billion uncollected in the answer was well, by the time we go through the collection process, and go to court, what we collect will be less than what we spend collecting it. the interesting thing is, the
tax gap was not 406 billion, it was 456 billion. there were recovered 50 billion spread all these ads that say if you owe money to the irs contact us and we will get you a settlement and apparently they are pretty effective if all we collect out of 456 billion is 50 billion. that's 4 trillion dollars in ten years. we have a 20 trillion-dollar debt. a 1% increase in increase adds $200 billion toward debt service. it is not sustainable. we have got to do something in our tax code to simplify, to increase the amount of revenue, and one of the ways we will do that is to get the economy growing. for the last eight years the economy has grown at 1.55%. the 70 year average for economic growth is three-point to 1%. we've grown it less than half the seven year average. if we can meet the 70 year average, revenues go up, jobs go up, incomes go up, the class
will start to thrive again, that is the whole objective of tax reform. we want businesses to be able to invest in a stable environment, we want to be able to expand and create new illnesses, we want other companies to come to this country and do business here and hire american workers. on the healthcare side of things, you may or may not like this, but growing up like i did, i can tell you one of the best things we can do is help people get good paying jobs with good benefits and right now the labor participation rate in this country is the lowest it's been in 40 years. so, that's the whole point of tax reform. thank you for your question. >> this lady over here in the black sweater. >> i live in hoover. i am concerned about climate change, but more immediately,
i'm very concerned about situations like what happened in west virginia whenever whole neighborhoods that will never be able to have decent water due to a chemical spill from the company and also like here in alabama we had an oil spill, what concerns me is not that we have pipes and things like that but that we are cutting so much money away from the people who need to inspect those things. i think we need to have chemical companies spread we have to have these things, but beginning a few years ago when 10% was taken away from all the budgets of every agency just across the board, almost spitefully, it seems like more and more is being taken away. i really think we need some regulations, especially on industries, i don't want to lose my water or my house or my
property. i think we can do something about that easily, but we keep taking money away from the people who need to watch what were doing or watch what's being done. >> we don't support no regulations, we support sensible regulations and that's what we are working toward. let me answer the ladies question. show respect. i can't hear it. >> i can make it really brief. basically, everyone's concerned about climate change but i'm concerned also about the immediacy of west texas blew up because no one was inspecting to see how much fertilizer and alabama has pipes that broke. i'm not against all pipes are chemical companies in west virginia there's a whole area, a whole town that can never have freshwater again because their
chemical spill. i'm concerned about how much we cut from regulations overseeing what we are doing. i'm not against the business, i'm just against that were not watching, i want my water to stay clean. >> as i was trying to answer the question, we are not getting rid of all of the regulations. we are trying to get to sensible regulations and we want the epa to do their job. i don't know if you're aware but the epa has caused two major spills, one in georgia which they tried to cover up, and another in colorado that literally flooded hundreds of thousands of acres on the indian reservation. we had a hearing before our committee and had private leaders from the tribes that were impacted in the npa tried to cover it up. it's not just business.
you are going to have accidents, but we want good inspections. we want to have regulations that do what we need to do and we've seen that with what's happened over the past 30 or 40 years with air quality. i've got a chart here that shows since 19832012, our economy grew at 462%. travel one of 93%, population went up, energy consumption is up 22% but omissions are down 56%. in every category of emissions, we have improved, but we've done it through sensible regulation and cooperative arrangements with the private sector. that's the way to do it. one of the things that's in the president's infrastructure bill is an emphasis on replacing the water system. i think what we've seen in flint michigan is indicative that we need to replace that. we need to take action on that. that is another case where the
epa covered it up. there is an exchange of e-mails in district five. we have got to have people we trust running these agencies. >> i want to thank you for being here. >> another vietnam veteran. thank you for your service. [applause] >> i want to thank the other veterans for being here. >> , and he veterans to have? would you all stand? [applause]
>> that the mental health issues that face veterans of all ages -- and i am a vietnam veteran, and i think i can speak for most of the veterans here that we were proud to have an opportunity to serve our country as you are serving your country. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, sir. you, you have a fabulous advocate for mental health treatment for veterans in congressman tim murphy of pennsylvania. i've gotten to know tim. tim supports the amendment. he is from pennsylvania. he is a clinical psychologist. he's much more moderate than i am, but he and i are on the same
page on this, and that is -- and this is another part of health care that needs to be addressed, and that's coordinated care. you've got a lot of people who wind up in the hospital that shouldn't be in the hospital because they weren't looked after. they're cancer patients who go through the treatment, and they go through depression, and they wind up not doing their, taking their medicines or not going through the rehabilitation regimes that they need to do. and we need to make sure that we coordinate that care. and he's right, one of the most shocking reports that i've seen in my entire career in public policy is the report that came out last summer that reported 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. that is a national tragedy, and we've got to do something about it. so, again, thank you for your are service, thank you for bringing that to our attention. [applause] i need to be fair and -- >> [inaudible] >> okay. >> [inaudible]
>> he's saying that the hospital here in birmingham is working very closely at that. some of the v.a. hospitals are. and one of my concerns is how many veterans hospitals are keeping people on waiting lists. ladies and gentlemen, we literally have suicide hotlines that have answering machines. they do not respond to them. it is, it is a shame on the nation that we've allowed this to happen. so this gentleman right here in the gray shirt. >> okay. thank you, representative palmer. i want to talk to you about something that was in the news today and see if i'm wrong on this. but i think what they're talking about is congress wants to try again to put a health bill through, and the freedom caucus
has come up with something that's being pushed which, to me, sounds like a technicality, but it would allow insurers to charge more the if you had a pre-existing condition. and that's why a lot of people are, i think, very sensitive. because, you know, there's thousands of pre-existing conditions. and maybe this is what's needed to kill the aca, but it scares me. and, you know, a lot of us are really deathly afraid of being sold down the river. so that's my concern. >> well, the amendment that you're talking about is not from the freedom caucus, it's tom mcarthur of new jersey. he's the vice chairman of the tuesday group, the moderates. and i've been reading to you from it. you may have thought it was my amendment, but it's not. it's congressman tom mcarthur's amendment that i
think the freedom caucus has agreed to. and under this amendment -- and i don't know, you know, i don't watch the mainstream media much. i don't have time. i'm either doing this or doing my work, so i don't know what the media said about it, but what they're talking about is the mcarthur amendment. and i don't see that happening, particularly coming from the moderates. >> yeah, i hope it doesn't happen. i think think it's under the coy rating provision. that's how the technicality's being pushed. >> well, here -- again, and i read this -- community rule except for waivers will be maintained. that is the commitment this amendment makes. >> they're going to waive it, that's the problem. >> except for limited waivers. but i can promise you knowing congressman mcarthur that he is not going to support anything that imposes any kind of hardship on people getting their insurance. >> yes. we appreciate that. thank you.
>> thank thank you. this lady in the black right here. yeah. >> all right, i'm going to do a couple of thank yous. thank you for having the meeting. thank you for having it in a big enough place where we could all sit comfortably and hear what you have to say. i really appreciate that. [applause] and third, and i am going to get to my question. third, thank you to the veterans. you guys, you women, you are awesome, and you are right, congressman, it is a shame on this nation that we have not taken better care of them. now, my question i want to go back to the woman here that has the black vest on that talked about the disparity of pay for women. and i'm not sure why it seems to me, in my experience, that white men do not seem to appreciate the disparity exists. but i'm telling you, i'm a
60-year-old woman. i retired after 30 years of service with a public utility. i've practiced law for 35 years. it is real. we are paid as a group less. i don't know the if it's because we start out as secretaries and move up, if it's because the men that move up -- i don't know what the problem is. but letting the market decide that problem is not the answer, in my opinion. [cheers and applause] and as a case in point, as a case in point, i myself in 1976 was told by a man, how might call him a market determiner, that he would never hire a woman lawyer because women were not strong enough, women were not tough enough to be trial lawyers, and he wouldn't have anything to do with hiring one of us. all right? the market was telling him that, and the market was telling me that.
it's the same argument that people used to not let blacks sit at lunch counters. let the market tell us who gets to sit there, and on and on. and you can see the passion on my face, because as i said, not only have i lived it, she's lived it, all of us are living it. and so while i appreciate and agree with you, you should never sign or vote on any bill you haven't seen. but you've been in a think tank for 24 years. why can't you commit to write a bill that we guarantee women equal pay for equal work? [cheers and applause] and if you can't do it, and if you can't do it or don't feel like you should, help me understand why. >> i don't disagree with most of what you said. like i said, i'm the father of two daughters, and i want them to get paid every dime that they should get paid. i do not want any disparity
between them and any guy, i can promise you that. what i, i guess i was inarticulate about it, but what i don't want to have is a government mandate on it. what i want to have is fairness. and i, you know, i -- [inaudible conversations] >> well, you can't mandate pay. i mean, that's not the way to go. i will look into it, and i think that's the fairest thing that i can tell you. and if anybody, you know, the people that know me will tell you that i do look -- i'll listen to you. believe it or not, i'll listen to you. i process everything and i'll look into it. i want to know, i need to know more about this. you all want to know what's going on here, because i don't think anybody should be short changed, i don't care whoer in, how old they are, their race, gender, anything else. i do think, though, to conflate
that with the race issue was probably not the best conflation of the issue. but i do understand your passion, and i certainly would understand to offense that you took from that gentleman that said that to you. so that's the international symbol for we're going to take one more question. there's a gentleman in the back in in the yellow shirt. >> good to have you here tonight. i'm glad i heard it on the radio today, because it wasn't advertised too good. [laughter] my question to you, i hope for eight years we're going to repeal obamacare. and when y'all got in charge, y'all didn't even have a plan. y'all tried to rush a plan through one, two weeks. now you're working on another plan. but my question is, this is a
big thing. it affects a lot of people. [applause] and y'all are going to hang 24 million people out there with no health insurance coverage. promise me that you will help people and also don't give medicaid to the state of alabama. [cheers and applause] don't do that. because they will not fund it, and they will eventually take the money and put it somewhere else. [cheers and applause] >> no one is going to end funding for medicaid. nobody -- we're not having a single-payer system. no one is even talking about ending medicaid. i don't know where you get that. so that's not even a, an issue.
as far as 24 million people losing their insurance, i started with this, i'll end with this: the amendment that we've added on the risk-sharing plan will increase the thurm of people with insurance -- the number of people with insurance. we're not going to leave people without insurance. the bill includes tax credits for people to buy insurance, so people with buy their insurance. no one should lose their insurance. as far as us and our plan, when the current bill came out, i opposed the bill. we have made changes to the bill that are substantially better than what we started with, i think, to the degree that -- >> [inaudible] >> well, it's my word -- >> [inaudible] see the bill before you vote on it. [cheers and applause]
>> then show us the bill! >> the bill's available. you can read the bill. it's been out there. finish. [inaudible conversations] >> show us the bill! show us the bill! >> we do have some people who have very few good manners. they lose their temper, they don't -- they lose -- i try to address everybody here from a perspective of romans 12:18, and that is as much as it is up to me, whenever possible, to be at peace with all people. and now while i can't do anything about how people act, i can only do something about how i react to it. and i'm not a liar. i am committed to doing what's best for the country that blesses the people and that tbloarfies god. and if that's a problem for you,
sir -- >> [inaudible] >> you need to listen to what i'm saying, brother. you claim to be a christian. you need to act like it. let me answer. let me answer. the bill will be available for you to read it before we vote on it. and i've explained what's in the bill. i've read the bill. i'm the one that put the amendment in it. so you can stand up and call me a liar, you can call me immoral, you can call me spineless, whatever you want to. that's your opinion, but i know what i'm doing. so thank you all for coming. [applause]